The first few sentences of the dissertation abstract highlight the background to your research, as well as the significance of the study. Hopefully, by the time you come to write the abstract, you will already know why your study is significant. In explaining the significance of your study, you will also need to provide some context for your research. This includes the problem that you are addressing and your motivation for conducting the study. What is the purpose of the research? Why did you carry out the research? How is the study significant? Why should anyone care or why do they care (is the study interesting)? Remember, all of this needs to be encompassed within just a few sentences. Therefore, only outline those aspects of your study that you feel are the most important; those aspects that you think will catch the reader’s attention. The relative importance of the methodological components discussed in the dissertation abstract will depend on whether any of these components made the study significant in some way.

Ask yourself the question: Did any of the following components of research strategy help make my study significant? If the answer is YES, greater focus (and word count) should probably be dedicated to explaining these components of research strategy in the dissertation abstract. If not, try and summarise the components used more succinctly (i.e., in fewer words). Since the way that you would write the research strategy part of your dissertation abstract will vary depending on the relative significance of these components to your study, we have produced examples to help. What research design guided your study? What was the scope of your study? What research methods did you use? What were the main ideas, constructs and/or variables that you examined, measured, controlled and/or ignored? What was your unit of analysis? What was your sample (and population)? What analysis techniques did you use to arrive at your findings? Often, you will be able to combine the answer to a number of these questions in a single sentence, which will help make the abstract more concise and succinct.

Following a discussion of the components of your research strategy, the dissertation abstract should move on to present the main findings from your research. We use the word findings and not results to emphasise the fact that the abstract is not the section where you should include lots of data; and it should definitely not include any analysis. Leave this to the Results/Findings chapter of your dissertation (often Chapter Four: Results/Findings). Remember that the findings part of the dissertation abstract should focus on answering your research questions and/or hypotheses. Did the findings answer your research questions and/or hypotheses? What did the findings show in terms of these research questions and/or hypotheses? What are the most important findings? What is the significance of your findings? To what extent are your findings trustworthy (i.e., reliable, generalisable, consistent, dependable, etc.)? You should avoid making comments that are vague or over-exaggerate your findings. You should also ensure that you explain the findings in a way that non-experts could understand without having to read additional parts of your dissertation.

The final part of your dissertation abstract should focus on the conclusions from your research and the resultant implications. What has been learned? What are the implications of the findings? Is there potential for generalisation of your findings? What are the limitations of your research? When writing the conclusion part of your abstract, remember that these conclusions should be precise and concise. There is no need to re-summarise what you have already discussed or the contents of your dissertation. This is an informative abstract, not a descriptive one. If you are unsure of the difference, you may find the section, Choosing between dissertation abstract styles: Descriptive and informative, helpful. Furthermore, be careful not to make claims that cannot be supported by your findings. There is always a danger to over-exaggerate and/or over-generalise in this part of the abstract, which should be avoided. It is unlikely that you will have changed the world through your study, but you may still have added something significant to the literature, so try and strike the right balance. NOTE: This article is based on the use of the informative abstract style, not the descriptive style; the former being the typical style adopted in undergraduate and master’s dissertations and theses. For a comparison of the two styles – descriptive and informative – see the article, Choosing between dissertation abstract styles: Descriptive or informative.

Even look at the final rounds of oratory at the state level and you will see that those who rise above always have humor. By incorporating humor into your speech to back a well-written piece, I guarantee that you will not only succeed, but that you will enjoy the Forensics season much more. With an atmosphere that could be visualized as Victorian London shrouded within pea-souper smog, it is adequate enough to state that Original Oratories often favor heavy, serious fair. This consistency is understandable. A majority of OO’s are centered around controversial topics. The precedent has been set of Original Oratory being an event of consequence, with meaning. Another factor is that Original Oratory is an extension of Declamation (or rather, any form of re-interpretation of an already existing speech) except with a focus on original content, and most remarkable speeches are of solemn nature. Anyway, it is clear that OO is serious business. Yet, advocates of Original Oratory will argue that some humor is necessary.

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